SCIENCE, TECH PROFESSIONALS TO SPUR OMAN’S GROWTH PLANS

Oman needs science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals to drive Oman’s innovation and competitiveness, experts have suggested.

Ithraa’s fourth seminar in the Oman at Work series, dedicated to the topic ‘STEM: Jobs of the Future,’ and held at the Bank Muscat Head Office, explored how science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers will drive Oman’s economic success by generating new ideas, companies, products and industries.

The panelist for the final day were Dr Basel Dayyani from GUTECH, Dr Mohammed Al Mugheiry of Blue Ocean Consultancy, Dr Wael Al Harrasi from Petroleum Development Oman, Dr Sana Al Balushi from the Ministry of Education, Salim Al Mahrooqi from Technical Innovation Services, and Rayan Al Kalbani of Mazoon Environmental and Technological Services.

The final session of the series was moderated by Dr. Nadiya Al Saady, Executive Director, Oman Animal, Plant & Genetic Resources Center. According to Al Saady, both traditional and emerging industries will rely on science, technology, engineering and mathematics -trained workers to ensure future economic success.

The discussion pointed out that changes in the global economy are increasing and stressed the need for science, technology, engineering and mathematics trained personnel.

The discussion also touched on why the representation of women is less in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workplace.

STEM is a natural priority in this region, said the panelists.

The Oman at Work seminar also discussed why there is a need for a shift in the approach to teaching and leveraging science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

According to Sana Al Balushi, the arts are a necessary adjunct to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Also, the speakers emphasized that private foundations should focus on developing Omani innovation.

“We must offer opportunities to Omanis and believe in their abilities. Omani skills are historically known in various areas,” says Dr Wael Al Harrasi.

The infrastructure in Oman is ready to accept science, technology, engineering and mathematics experts, and there are many opportunities in Oman, the panelists noted.

The four evenings of discussion received positive feedback from participants.

The panelists agreed that the country must be united to equip Oman’s citizens with the modern science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills they need to compete. Panelists also said that all sectors need to recognise that the demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics -trained Omani talent is only going to increase in the years to come.

Following this discussion, the four part Oman at Work seminar series came to an end. The series was designed by Ithraa, Oman’s inward investment and export promotion agency, to help Oman’s public and private sector better understand the challenges and opportunities of today’s evolving work environment.

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